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Arribas relishing Rayo clash

Osasuna defender Alejandro Arribas is looking forward to facing his old club Rayo Vallecano in the Primera Division match at Estadio El Sadar and is determined to help his new side record what could be a vital three points in their battle to avoid the drop.

Osasuna find themselves second from bottom after collecting just 10 points from their opening 13 matches, although a 3-0 win in Espanyol followed by successive goalless draws with Malaga and Real Sociedad could give Jose Luis Mendilibar's side hope against a Rayo side sitting comfortably in mid-table.

Arribas will know all about their opponents after working his way through their youth ranks and making 72 league appearances during a three-year spell with the first team.

``It is the first time that I will face the Lightning, but one day it had to come and it will be Friday,'' he told the club's official website. ``For me it is a special game because I've been there three and a half years and I still have very fond memories.

``For us it is very important to win, to get out of the relegation zone.''

As the joint lowest goalscorers in the league with just 11, there is no mystery to where Osasuna's problems lie.

``We struggle to score,'' Arribas said. ``Confidence in football is very important.

``There are 38 matches and more than half are left. Our goal is to be out (of the relegation zone) when they have been played and we have to get 43 points as soon as possible to save us.''

Vallecano will be without defender Rodri who has just had surgery on an Achilles injury, while Jose Carlos will miss the next four weeks with a thigh injury.

Rayo have been equally as impressive as their opponents at the back, registering clean sheets against Mallorca and Las Palmas and boss Paco Jemez, who has led his side to eighth in the table, is aiming for another clean sheet.

``We've had two games without conceding,'' he told reporters. ``We must make the most of it. Osasuna are struggling to find the net, we will see if it continues.

``It will be a difficult game. Osasuna is one of the strongest teams in the league. But we are very motivated.''

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